One of the prickliest portions of the Obamacare debate has been the use of government force to coerce Americans to comply with aspects of the mandate that may controvert their religious beliefs. The Catholic Church and its members have been the hardest hit by the Obamacare mandates.
Hobby Lobby operates more than 500 stores across 41 states and has over 13,000 full-time employees. They also happen to be owned privately and consider themselves a Christian founded organization. Much like another popular conservative business, Chik-fil-A, they are also closed on Sundays.
After the passage of Obamacare and the subsequent ruling by the Supreme Court that the mandate was indeed Constitutional, Hobby Lobby and a collection of other Christian-owned businesses sued the Government for violating their First Amendment rights. However, a clause in the mandate requires companies be fined every month that they are not in compliance with the law. Hobby Lobby had asked that they not be subject to those fines while they seek legal recourse.
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Hobby Lobby can proceed with its lawsuit against the federal birth-control mandate without being subject to fines during the process. This ruling will save Hobby Lobby (and the other companies involved in the suit) millions of dollars over the course of the trial and appeal process.
This is the biggest victory thus far for Christian groups hoping to overturn at least part of the Obamacare mandate. For Catholics, birth control is a very touchy subject, as the church has strict guidelines limiting their use. For Protestant Christians the concerns over the Obamacare birth-control coverage mandate really focus on one key issue – abortion.
Neither group (Catholics with all birth control and Protestants with abortion) wants to have to give money or insurance coverage for employees covering these issues. It fundamentally conflicts with certain important aspects of their religious beliefs, and the First Amendment guarantees us all the right to freely practice our religions without government involvement.
Over the next few days, weeks, months, and maybe even years Hobby Lobby will continue to push for its First Amendment freedoms and ours as well.
We should all be ready to lend them a hand – find a Hobby Lobby near you and spend some money.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com